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Rory McIlroy had been making his first appearance at the Valero Texas Open since 2013 (opens in new tab), as he ramped up his preparation for the Masters (opens in new tab) which begins in just a matter of days.
However, the 32-year-old would struggle around San Antonio, with rounds of 72 and 73 meaning a one-over-par tournament total and a first missed cut since the Scottish Open back in July 2021.
Prior to the event, the four-time Major winner stated that he "played well here (Texas) back in 2013" and that it "definitely gave me some confidence going into Augusta, and I ended up having a decent week there."
As well as playing the event, McIlroy also stated that he "just wanted to mix it up" and go into Augusta National feeling sharp, revealing he hasn't "really enjoyed the format of the Match Play (last week's event) the last couple years."
The Northern Irishman's plans for Augusta National (opens in new tab) and the Masters though could have gone better, with McIlroy struggling in Texas as an inconsistent first round of six birdies, six pars and six bogies, was followed up by a second round of a single birdie and two bogies.
Although this now means McIlroy will have more time to prep for Augusta National, something that he was seen doing earlier this week as he stopped off to check the course out (opens in new tab), he is still looking to add the Green Jacket to his incredible CV and complete the career Grand Slam. (opens in new tab)
In 2014, after winning the Open Championship, the Northern Irishman had secured three of the four Major championships, with just the Masters left to go. Many voices in the golfing world have stated that McIlroy will indeed pick up the Green Jacket (opens in new tab) at some point in his career, especially around a venue where he has six top-10 finishes.
His closest call arguably came in 2011 though (opens in new tab), where he heartbreakingly shot a final round 80 after leading the field by four shots going into the final day on Sunday. After a one-over-par front nine, McIlroy had still been leading. However, a pulled tee shot on the 10th started a chain reaction that saw him finish 10 shots back of eventual winner, Charl Schwartzel.
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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